10 Things Lawmakers Need to Know About Abbeville

December 19, 2014

In the wake of the recent South Carolina Supreme Court ruling on the Abbeville case, the SC legislature has been handed a mandate to improve the education system for our rural school systems. While those who have vested interested in maintaining the status quo say that this ruling simply mandates more funding to the powers that be, our education system needs real reform. Check out these ten real steps to reform.

Testimony to First Steps to School Readiness Study Committee

December 5, 2014

I am Oran Smith, and I come to you this afternoon in two capacities. I am President & CEO of Palmetto Family, a faith-based, public policy research organization founded in Spartanburg and based here in Columbia since 1994. I am also glad to be part of Palmetto Policy Forum, a new type of policy organization dedicated to expanding opportunity by building consensus around common sense solutions.

Empower Opportunity 2015

November 15, 2014

Finding the best education fit for your child can be a daunting task. In this catalog, you’ll read the stories of families just like yours who share their journey to find the perfect place for their child. You’ll also find links to resources to learn more about each option. Please take a minute to share this information with families you know. Knowledge is power, and working together, we can Empower Opportunity for students in every corner of the Palmetto State. And please take a minute to visit our dedicated Empower Opportunity website at www.mysceducation.org.

2014 VisionSC Agenda

November 7, 2014

Our VisionSC 2014 agenda is here and not to be missed! 2nd Annual VisionSC Summit | Monday, November 17, 2014 Westin Poinsett Hotel | Greenville, SC 11:00 AM Opening Welcome Former U.S. Senator Jim DeMint, Heritage Foundation 11:05 AM South Carolina’s Offshore Opportunity U.S. Representative Jeff Duncan, SC-03

Our South Carolina State Standards Review Taskforce Response

November 6, 2014

Thank you for the invitation to submit feedback on South Carolina’s proposed Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA) standards. Our goal in submitting this review is to contribute a thoughtful perspective to a constructive dialogue that results in rigorous, state‐controlled standards that will create an environment of excellence for our students and clear guidance and support for our teachers.

Finding Midterm Meaning

November 6, 2014

It’s no secret what happened Tuesday night: an unmistakably Republican electoral tidal wave swept across the country. The question is why. We know we’ll hear the predictable punditry on 24-hour cable news from both the left and the right, slicing and dicing the demographics, pointing fingers of blame for losses…and of course taking all the credit for wins.

“Read to Succeed” Must Cross the Legislative Finish Line

October 28, 2014

The ability to read is a primary gateway to success in school and life-long learning. A child who does not master this fundamental skill faces daunting odds. Consider these sobering statistics from the Annie E. Casey Foundation: · Children who are not reading proficiently in 3rd grade are 4 times more likely to not graduate high school. · Below basic readers are almost 6 times more likely than proficient readers to not finish high school on time. · Poor, Black, and Hispanic students who are struggling readers are about 8 times more likely than proficient readers to drop out of high school.

The Solution to Our Energy Need is…South Carolina!

October 28, 2014

South Carolina has two major ports that would likely play a prominent role in offshore oil and gas production. The Port of Charleston is one of the busiest and most efficient ports in the nation. The Port of Georgetown, a dedicated break bulk and bulk facility, handles large volumes of cement, metals, and petroleum coke. Using the multipliers for economic impacts on ports implies that offshore oil and gas development would create more than 900 jobs for these ports in 2035 under the high production scenario.

Elect or Appoint? SC To Decide Process for Adjutant General’s Selection

October 1, 2014

DID YOU KNOW? This fall, South Carolina voters will be asked to decide whether or not South Carolina should continue to be the only state in America that still elects it’s Adjutant General….a position that very few know much about. Earlier this year, the Spartanburg Herald Journal Herald Journal did a good job laying out some key considerations..

Why We Have To Get Healthcare Right: Part II

September 4, 2014

A few weeks ago, I outlined how the policy areas of Immigration, Fiscal Policy and Poverty Assistance are integrally bound up in the larger healthcare debate. Today, we’ll examine three more. There are two indisputable facts on which everyone can agree: first, everybody will need medical care at some point. Second, the cost of medical treatment is astronomically high. A couple days of uninsured hospital care could easily saddle someone with a lifetime of debt. What many don’t realize however, is just how deeply entwined healthcare is with nearly every arena of public policy. Today, we’ll examine its impact on Agriculture, Education, and Federalism.